In 1840 James Cleland, LLD 1846, founded a medal to be awarded in alternate years to a student of Divinity and a student of Physics for the best essay on a prescribed subject. In 1849 William Rae Wilson, undergraduate in Arts 1785, LLD 1844, founded a medal to be awarded to a Divinity student for the best essay on the life of Christ. The foundations are now regulated by Ordinance 97.
The Cleland Medals and Prizes are awarded annually to the most distinguished student in the Ordinary class of Physics. The remainder of the income of the Cleland Foundation is added to the income of the Rae Wilson Foundation to provide four medals in the Faculty of Divinity, which are awarded annually to the most distinguished student in each of the classes of Systematic Theology; Ecclesiastical History; Hebrew Bible and New Testament. If in any year there is no student of sufficient distinction in any of these classes the corresponding proportion of the income may be applied to the promotion of theological study in such manner as the Senate may decide.